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Homaloptera confuzona, questions
March 10, 2013
11:01 am
olly
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Hello everyone!

Thank you very much for your knowledge base.

I am new to this forum and English is not native for me. I have some questions about my loaches.

I have homalopteras confuzona.  They live in my tank for a year and are one of my favorite fishes. Then they do not sleep, they are very movable, crawl in forage above the other bottom dwellers and swim.  

 One homaloptera has put on weight from autumn 2012 and eventually became so thick that I began to worry about her health. Nevertheless, she is very active, eats greedily and when not sleeping, swims and likes to "dance" in the flow in vertical position on the tail.  

 I was unable to take a quality foto of her ventral side at the time, when  homalopteras sit on the front glass of the tank before feeding, because the flash light is reflected from the abdomen. It is impossible to take pictures without a flash, as homaloptera moves all the time. However, at some photos I see intra-abdominal yellow inclusions. What is it – fat inclusions or eggs?

Thank you for your answer!

Homaloptera-confuzona6IMG_8187.jpg

Homaloptera-confuzonaIMG_9828.jpg
Homaloptera-confuzona2IMG_9837.jpg
Homaloptera-confuzonaIMG_8200.jpg
Homaloptera-confuzonaIMG_9834.jpg
Homaloptera-confuzonaIMG_9021.jpg
Homaloptera-confuzonaIMG_8833.jpg
Homaloptera-confuzonaIMG_9178.jpg
Homaloptera-confuzonaIMG_9258.jpg

 

 

March 10, 2013
12:41 pm
Rüdiger
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Hi olly,

certaily looks like eggs to me! But I'm not sure how it could be possible that she's gravid since autumn last year without spawning inbetween? When first did you notice that she'd gotten this big?

Regards

R.

P.S. Nice Videos and nice tank, if somewhat of an unusual community!! :-)

If you must insist on living in a box ...... at least do your thinking outside.
March 10, 2013
2:42 pm
Thomas
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My experience with Homaloptera (now homalopteroides) smithi is that the eggs are gone after roundabout 3 months. Don't know if they secretly have spawned or only resorb the eggs. This had happens at two different female.

 

Cheers,

Thomas

March 10, 2013
2:55 pm
mikev
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yes, seems gravid. Very nice, olly!

With H.confuzona, females get very gravid and tend to stay this way for years (3+)…similar to kuhlis, actually. I wish we knew something about the spawning trigger….

I don't think h.smithi is closely related to h.confuzona…. I suspect h.smithi's regularly spawn under normal conditions .. pretty sure i saw a tiny fry once in my h.smithi tank but was unable to catch it and it did not last ;(

March 11, 2013
7:19 pm
Matt
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Hi Olly, welcome to the site and thanks for the kind words. Smile

Looks like eggs to me as well, and your photos are very good. Would you mind if we added one or two to the H. confuzona species profile?

Edit: can loaches become egg-bound?

Cake or death?
March 11, 2013
11:18 pm
Rüdiger
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mikev said
yes, seems gravid. Very nice, olly!

With H.confuzona, females get very gravid and tend to stay this way for years (3+)…similar to kuhlis, actually.

Very interesting, thanks Mike. Never heard or read about that before. Never too old to learn something new! ;-)

Regards

R.

 

If you must insist on living in a box ...... at least do your thinking outside.
March 11, 2013
11:42 pm
mikev
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Very welcome… In my group (now down to 3 fishes after 5 or 6 years :( ) all females showed this… and there may be something to Matt's suspicion about them becoming egg-bound.. I never saw them becoming thinner, and the lifespan of females might have been shorter too…

March 24, 2013
10:02 pm
olly
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Hello everyone!

Thanks very much! You helped me to clear off doubts and now I'm sure that this homaloptera is a female with eggs.

Matt said
 and your photos are very good. Would you mind if we added one or two to the H. confuzona species profile?

Matt, thanks. Yes, please do!

Rüdiger said
But I'm not sure how it could be possible that she's gravid since autumn last year without spawning inbetween? When first did you notice that she'd gotten this big?

Thomas said  they secretly have spawned or only resorb the eggs. This had happens at two different female.

This homaloptera was slowly becoming stout from September through January with maximum in the beginning of January. Later in January – February, I noticed that she has become slightly thinner. However, I do not know, she spawned or eggs were resorbed. But now I see she again is becoming thicker. Here is a video-clip with gravid homaloptera, and in some moments it is really to see pale eggs in her abdomen.

Rüdiger said
 if somewhat of an unusual community!! 

Yes, there is not a habitat community in my tank with gastromyzons. But homalopteras and gastromyzons proved to be kind neighbours. Gastromyzons adapted to the restlessness of homalopteras.  Sometimes gastromyzons in good spirits chase homalopteras :) , and otherwise. 

mikev said
With H.confuzona, females get very gravid and tend to stay this way for years (3+)…similar to kuhlis, actually. I wish we knew something about the spawning trigger….

It is nice and interesting. It’d be great for me to get confuzona’s fry. These fishes are very seldom in sale and I’d like to maintain this species in my tank for years.  To my opinion the ability to breed fishes in the tank and the dispersal of bred fishes in our hobby is one of opportunities to keep these species in nature. As for spawning triggers, it is may be temperature change as for some species of fishes. But I do not know anything about the effectiveness of this method for H.confuzona. Another method to get fish eggs is hormonal stimulation. But I cannot estimate the degree of maturity and readiness to spawning of the brood fishes  and I'm afraid to damage my favorite fishes during manipulations.

mikev said
I suspect h.smithi's regularly spawn under normal conditions .. pretty sure i saw a tiny fry once in my h.smithi tank but was unable to catch it and it did not last ;(

It is great! I have not met the information about breeding of H. smithi yet.  It is a pity a fry was not catched… I’ve read about successful collection of sewellia fry with the use of siphon for gravel cleaning.

 

I think my another thin homaloptera is a male (????). After eating he sometimes becomes thicker, but in a day again slim. He is more aggressive than gravid homaloptera and pinch (or bite?) female all the time.  However, I see, such interaction is necessary for both and they enjoy the company of each other. 

And I have one more question…. What do features of sex dimorphism for H.confuzona exist besides this one: fuller-bodied females and slim male?  Thanks!

 

If thin homaloptera proves to be a male I'd like to try to provoke their spawning in separate tank. 

Fotos of another thin H.confuzona and both together.

Sometimes after eating.

Homaloptera-confuzona-after-eating2IMG_9126.jpg

Homaloptera-confuzona-after-eatingIMG_9127.jpg

Before feeding.

Homaloptera-confuzonaIMG_9182.jpg

Homaloptera-confuzonaIMG_8932-1.jpg

and both together.

female and male(???)

Homaloptera-confuzonaIMG_9844.jpg

male(???) and fuller-bodied female

Homaloptera-confuzonaIMG_8901.jpg

 

March 24, 2013
10:59 pm
Rüdiger
Brunswick / Germany
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Hi olly,

very nice photos again! (y) 

When I said "somewhat of an unusual community" I was rather referring to I. werneri, P. furcatus, D. dario, T. ocellicauda and D. margaritatus in what looks like a rather turbulent tank. Just didn't think they'd be comfortable with that kind of water movement. :-)

Regards

R.

If you must insist on living in a box ...... at least do your thinking outside.
March 25, 2013
8:27 am
Matt
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Thanks a lot Olly, will do so now.Smile

I think that adult females tend to grow a bit larger than males as well as being thicker-bodied?

Cake or death?
March 25, 2013
1:32 pm
mikev
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Rüdiger said

When I said "somewhat of an unusual community" I was rather referring to I. werneri, P. furcatus, D. dario, T. ocellicauda and D. margaritatus in what looks like a rather turbulent tank. Just didn't think they'd be comfortable with that kind of water movement.

p.furcatus may be ok… I keep some rainbows in river tanks now and they tolerate it …specifically p.furcatus was not tried, but my sense is that it would work. Ditto for large p.signifer. But the other four species make me wonder. How long were they kept for in this tank?

If thin homaloptera proves to be a male I'd like to try to provoke their spawning in separate tank.

it is probably a male, but it is not obvious that setting up a spawning tank will help you. The only spawning success I heard about involved a large group of h.confuzona in a 125g rivertank. Probably 125g is not needed, but 30g would be the minimal size to try, and it would be better to have a larger group. And no tankmates (other hillstreams may be ok, but not the rest). Udachi!

I’ve read about successful collection of sewellia fry with the use of siphon for gravel cleaning.

I also collected some lh.disparis eggs and fry this way. But siphon only helps with species that spawn regularly… h.confuzona is clearly not one.

May 1, 2013
1:57 pm
olly
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Hello everyone!

Rüdiger said
very nice photos again! (y) 

When I said "somewhat of an unusual community" I was rather referring to I. werneri, P. furcatus, D. dario, T. ocellicauda and D. margaritatus in what looks like a rather turbulent tank. Just didn't think they'd be comfortable with that kind of water movement. :-)

Rüdiger, Thanks! Sorry, I did not understand phrase.  I also think P.furcatus feel well in the flow, and it seems to me, they prefer to swim  in it. In this tank they were raised from purchased fry for another tank. The flow in the tank is directed along the back wall, its power decreases after meeting with another wall and plants on its way. In the center of the tank there is practically calm – T. ocellicauda, I. werneri, D.dario and D. margaritatus keep mainly here and all of them are visible. T. ocellicauda grew up in this tank from small fry. Practically all fishes live in this tank for more than one year. During feeding the pump is switched off. All dwellers have conditioned reflex on the switching off the flow as a signal for the feeding start.

 

Matt said
I think that adult females tend to grow a bit larger than males as well as being thicker-bodied?

Matt, thanks a lot. I measured the length with the ruler of gravid H.cofuzona and expected male on the photo where they are together at the back wall of the tank. The male is slightly longer than the female. When they have appeared a year ago in my tank, the female was thin and shorter than male. Yes, perhaps, the size can be taken into account in the case if fishes were caught being adult and of maximal size. However, caught fishes are often of different age and size, and when get into the tank, may stop growing. My female did not grow longer than male for a year, but became gravid.

For the determination of sex of another hillstreams as sewellia and gastromyzons, it can be used such features as the length of the snout, the angle of anterior part of pectoral fins with the body, the shape of fish with pectoral fins from dorsal or ventral side. The snout width of schistura.   Do some these features or another work for homalopteras?

mikev said

it is probably a male, but it is not obvious that setting up a spawning tank will help you. The only spawning success I heard about involved a large group of h.confuzona in a 125g rivertank. Probably 125g is not needed, but 30g would be the minimal size to try, and it would be better to have a larger group. And no tankmates (other hillstreams may be ok, but not the rest). Udachi!

Mike, Thanks a lot for your valuable advices! Unfortunately, it is not possible for me to fulfill all these requirements at the present time….. but I will try to follow. For the last month gravid homaloptera is stout but without any alterations.

The information about spawning of h.confuzona is of great interest to me. Where can I read about this case of confuzona spawning properly? If it is possible. Thanks a lot. 

 

mikev said

I also collected some lh.disparis eggs and fry this way. But siphon only helps with species that spawn regularly… h.confuzona is clearly not one.

 

It is a great success to get fry from loach, to raise them and get F2 fry. I have read the topic about lh.disparis with great interest.  I have never seen this species in our trade even as a contaminant.

 

mikev said
In my group (now down to 3 fishes after 5 or 6 years :( ) all females showed this… and there may be something to Matt's suspicion about them becoming egg-bound.. I never saw them becoming thinner, and the lifespan of females might have been shorter too…

Is it possible that old females with fully resorbed eggs (and so slim) can be among old H.confuzona?

 

H.confuzona. Their amaizing barbels of different color.

Homaloptera-confuzona_barbels2.jpg

Homaloptera-confuzona_barbs.jpg

Homaloptera-confuzona_barbels.jpg

 

Homaloptera confuzona. Short keels at the end of scales are visible.

H.confuzona-with-keels.jpg

H.confuzona-with-keels2.jpg

For smile.  

H_confuzonaG.ocellatus_pyramid.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

May 1, 2013
3:14 pm
mikev
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Is it possible that old females with fully resorbed eggs (and so slim) can be among old H.confuzona?

Not in my case, I watched the fish. However, I think it is possible. I have a b.almorhae female that became suddenly slim after maybe 4 years of being very gravid….darn!….such a lost opportunity.

as for the Confuzona breeding story: it was never properly documented. there was a chap (a long-term fishkeeper who developed sudden interest in loaches) who posted on LOL circa 2007 who set up a 125g rivertank and put a few smaller species in it. He claimed that he got fry from confuzona and also s.balteata.. but never provided good info and then lost interest in loaches and switched to something else again. I think he was credible, but no proof.

May 5, 2013
4:48 pm
olly
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I would hope that my probable male is actually a male, but not old female with fully resorbed eggs. “He” is more aggressive than female: he chases a gravid female and sometimes gastromyzons.

mikev said
In my group (now down to 3 fishes after 5 or 6 years :( ) all females showed this… and there may be something to Matt's suspicion about them becoming egg-bound.. I never saw them becoming thinner, and the lifespan of females might have been shorter too…

Have females only dead in your group of H.confuzona? What do you think about the shorter lifespan of females H.confuzona: it is due to inability to spawn in the tank, development of cyst or another reasons?  My apologies for many questions. Your experience and your opinion are important for me. Thanks.

May 5, 2013
5:32 pm
mikev
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No, I don't think there is any proof that the females have a shorter lifespan. Simply hillstream's lifespan seems to be 6-8 years *on average* and I had large individuals to start with.
I actually would love to collect some lifespan data on hillies… I think some species may be able to make 10 years (gastros, some sewellias), but more active (including confuzona) would have somewhat smaller lifespan.

As an example: I have had my Sew01 group for 6 or more years…they arrived very large, so they are 8+ years no, with no losses yet. They have not spawned for 4 years but now the tank again has a bunch of fry. So I would guess the lifespan to average 10+. OTOH, I have a feeling that disparis is limited by about 5 (no proof, just observations on a large number, but not for this long). "About 6 for Confuzona" is what I was told by others long ago.

And "more aggressive" does not always mean male with hillstreams. True for sewellia, opposite for disparis, and I did not see much difference in confuzona (albeit it is entirely possible that the male would be more assertive only during spawning periods).

May 21, 2013
7:13 am
olly
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mikev said
I actually would love to collect some lifespan data on hillies…

It is very useful and very interesting information! Thanks! When I take the new fish for my tank, I'm always interested to know how long this fish lives. Unfortunately, it is not well known about lifespan of all hillstreams yet.
In the case of the breeding of loaches, it is also interesting the beginning and duration of reproductive period. For example, in according to your experience the reproductive period for Homaloptera confuzona is to be approximately 3 years of 6 years of lifespan. So I have two more years to try to get fry from H.confuzona. It would be nice to know more about the “strategy”of hillstreams reproduction. For example, Cobitis taenia spawning is only once in the life, rarely twice. Their spawning in portions lasts for 3-4 months. But other species may have another pattern of the spawning activity during reproductive period: permanent, seasonal, another.
My dream – spawning of my gastromyzons and H.confuzona, and to raise their fry.  It is a pity that nothing is known about their spawning activity, triggers of it and necessary conditions.

mikev said
And "more aggressive" does not always mean male with hillstreams.

Yes, I agree with you and I have the same opinion.

mikev said
True for sewellia,

I confirm this.

May 23, 2013
10:33 pm
Jrp
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Just to give my input on lifespan of some hillstream species. In my experience most do seem to live in the 6-8 year range but I have had a few surpass that. I had a Gastromyzon Ocellatus live 9 years and a Gastromyzon ctenocephalus live 10 years. Both were about an inch long when I purchased them in 2002. Presently, I have a Beaufortia kweichowensis and a Sinogastromyzon wui that I have had for 12 years. They were 2 inches long when I purchased them so I have no idea how old they are.

May 26, 2013
2:19 pm
mikev
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as a guess: sucker types are somewhat more long-living, possibly because of overall less active lifestyle, than lizards. pseudogastromyzons, however, seem to belong to 'lizards' here.

June 2, 2013
9:43 am
olly
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Jrp said
Just to give my input on lifespan of some hillstream species. In my experience most do seem to live in the 6-8 year range but I have had a few surpass that. I had a Gastromyzon Ocellatus live 9 years and a Gastromyzon ctenocephalus live 10 years. Presently, I have a Beaufortia kweichowensis and a Sinogastromyzon wui that I have had for 12 years. 

It's great! It is surprising that such small fishes have the potential capacity to live so long. I'd like to create optimal conditions in the tank for my hillstreams for their such long life.

mikev said
as a guess: sucker types are somewhat more long-living, possibly because of overall less active lifestyle, than lizards. pseudogastromyzons, however, seem to belong to 'lizards' here.

Interesting guess. According to the guess it may be expected that homalopteroides (H.smithi, H.twidi ) with more calm lifestyle have a longer lifespan than more active homalopteras (for example, H.confuzona). Is anything known about the lifespan of pseudogastromyzons  and  homalopteroides? I do not know.

June 2, 2013
1:07 pm
torso
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Hi

I don't agree.

The "sucker" type – who it not sucking at all – has not the possibility to build up energy reserves, due to it's body form. They mostly look like this when coming in. As soon the structure of the carcass is visible – along the spine – they won't survive. They are active in searching food all day. That's by the way the reason, why the fry in a tank doesn't get the chance to develop in the first to weeks as they do in the wild. Result: you'll never see larger bred ones that the wild imports. I'm actually trying to bring up larger S. speciosa by daily large doses of smallest dry food – "Staubfutter". First effect is striking: more fry than ever in spite of the fact, that hundreds of shrimps – as "user" of the resting food – are certainly getting most of the eggs. The first two youngsters are now as large as the parents when coming in.

About lifespan: I think water qualitiy is much more important than movement pattern. Means: with an UV bypass or – generally speaking – low contamination they live longer. Given that the right food is available and t he water is not fixes at a permanent high level.

"Agressivity": my S. specioas female is broader and dominant. To say: is chasing all others safe the dominant male. But when he trys to chase her away he is not successful.

A pic of the spawning, dated 18.05. 2011: it was a surprise that they started from the smaller side of the tank – normally they join on a flat stone in the tank and "fly" up. The event took some seconds and I couldn't get a really sharp pic.

Cheers Charles

S.-speciosa-spawning-CSC_7715.jpg

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